REPORTS

Saudi to rescue financial district

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Saudi Arabia is to transfer ownership of Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) from the Public Pension Agency (PPA), according to four sources aware of the matter. The move is an attempt to rescue the project, started a decade ago with the aim of making the Saudi capital a global financial center, and is another example of the burgeoning power of the PIF, which the Kingdom wants to make the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. A new approach to the project was outlined in the Vision 2030 package of economic reforms which called for transforming the district into “a special zone that has competitive regulations and procedures, with visa exemptions.” It called for a direct link to the international airport, and increasing the real estate and hospitality facilities in the zone to create an “integrated and attractive living and working environment.”

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